Pace of condo presales slows, but numbers remaining high in Metro Vancouver

Market firm says 6,000 condos in concrete buildings were introduced in first half of

The sun sets behind a condominium tower under construction at Naniamo and Kindsway,  Vancouver, July 10 2012.

The sun sets behind a condominium tower under construction at Naniamo and Kindsway, Vancouver, July 10 2012.

Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann , PNG

The number of new concrete condos launched in Metro Vancouver has been strong for the first six months of 2012, but not nearly as strong as earlier forecasts.

Real estate market firm MPC Intelligence had predicted in April that 7,800 new condos in concrete towers would be introduced to the market for sale in the first six months. That was down from an earlier prediction of 8,000.

However, MPC said Tuesday that by the end of June only 6,000 new concrete condominiums had been launched in the region.

“A large component came to the market, but we may have overshot it a bit,” MPC senior manager Jeff Hancock said in a Tuesday interview. “We were on pace until the end of the first quarter, but some projects ended up postponing.”

Despite that, Hancock said that the 6,000 new condos — in 31 condo projects — still represent the busiest six months MPC has recorded in concrete product since its inception in 2005.

“Six thousand is a significant number,” he noted. “Since we’ve been tracking, it’s the most we’ve seen in two quarters.”

Hancock said the pace of pre-sales has slowed in the last two months, but he expects a “large wave” of new launches in the fall.

Hancock attributes the slowdown to developers postponing projects because of market conditions, and some projects being delayed in the approvals process.

He said projects priced right and in the right location — near rapid transit — are doing well, citing strong sales at the Solo District condo project in Burnaby that started pre-sales this past weekend.

Hancock noted that 55 per cent of the concrete condos introduced to the market this year have been sold, with most sales in the first quarter and “the second quarter showing slower uptake.”

He also said it’s “too early to tell” if the slowing resale market is a factor in developers delaying projects.

According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s June 2012 housing starts survey, which includes all types of housing, there were 9,907 starts in Metro Vancouver from the beginning of January to the end of June 2012, 17 per cent more than the 8,472 starts in the first six months of 2011.

“Overall, apartment housing starts were strong in June, particularly in the cities of Vancouver, Coquitlam and Langley,” CMHC senior market analyst Robyn Adamache said in a statement.

Meanwhile, more than 70 per cent of the 187 homes available for presales at the 23-storey Rolston, in the 1300-block Granville, have sold, while close to 80 per cent of the 303 available homes have sold at The Mark, 1372 Seymour.


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